Reading apps can encourage kids to do more reading. Many are focused on phonics, but reading comprehension apps especially can help children practice important foundational skills.
Learning to read has two main components: decoding and comprehension. Decoding involves the phonics skills: letter sounds, letter combinations, and putting it all together to make words. Comprehension is a much less straightforward concept. At its core, comprehension means understanding what you are reading. But teaching that and measuring it can be complex.
These reading comprehension apps are great tools to help children practice those skills. They’re great tools for teachers and families to promote strong reading comprehension.
Epic! offers an immense library of high-quality published books. Kids can have books read aloud to them, and take quizzes to show what they learned. The website and app are free for teachers and librarians.
This app has fictional and nonfiction passages for kids in grades 2-8. Each passage has questions for readers to answer to show understanding.
Created by Lavar Burton’s “Reading is Fundamental,” this app has an interactive library. Hundreds of books are available to read or listen to, and Burton himself is featured in video adventures.
Long ago this company was called “Living Books,” and kids could load these interactive storybooks from a CD-ROM. Today, it’s available as an app, but still offers the same fun, interactive elements. Popular series like Berenstain Bears and Arthur are available.
Hoopla is a digital platform for books and other media. It’s especially great for children’s books because the ereader makes illustrations look amazing. The library has a robust nonfiction selection for kids. It’s likely that your library offers Hoopla for free, so check that out.
Kids learn best by listening all the way through middle school. Audiobooks can help kids retain the stories they’re reading. Audible is the best source for audiobooks, and Audible Stories is designed specifically for kids.
7. RAZ Kids
RAZ Kids is a leveled reading program designed to move kids from one reading level to another. Learning A–Z provides its own library of leveled books. Each book has a comprehension quiz at the end.
Reading Comprehension Apps That Build Background Knowledge
In order to comprehend what they are reading, kids need background knowledge. These apps aim to help kids learn about science, social studies, and more. When they turn to literature and nonfiction books, they’ll have context for what they are reading.
8. Brain POP
Brain POP offers articles and games in science, social studies, and the arts to help kids build a strong knowledge base. Interactive games and maker activities encourage kids to create projects from what they’ve learned.
9. Xyza News
This is news written with young readers in mind. Articles are concise and provide context for kids to understand what they are reading. To motivate kids to retain what they read, Xyza offers weekly news trivia through Newsicle. Readers can connect on a phone, tablet, laptop, or even get a print publication.
Nat Geo Kids offers games, videos, and books for kids to learn about science. Whether they’re interested in animals, weather, or how things work, there’s something for every kid.
This interactive atlas lets kids fly around the world, stopping wherever they please. Kids will learn about the culture and geography of countries and cities around the globe. The map is covered in illustrations of people, monuments, and natural wonders, and kids can touch them to learn more.